Josh Batch is back in the Great Britain fold. The 6ft 4ins Cardiff Devils player is among 28 players selected for GB’s training camp during April.
Chelmsford-born Batch has played key roles for Elite League leaders Devils with his ability to switch seamlessly between defense and offence a crucial element for head coach Andrew Lord.
He has been selected as a D-man by GB and is among six Cardiff players selected for national duty.
The roster will be cut to 25 for back-to-back games against KHL side Torpedo and that squad will represent GB at the World Championship in Slovakia during May.
Goalies Ben Bowns and Thomas Murdy join Devils team-mates Batch, Mark Richardson, Evan Mosey and Matthew Myers in the GB 28 for the training camp plus matches against Italy and Hungary.
Cardiff-born former Devils players Ben Davies and Jonathan Phillips.
Robert Dowd, Evan Mosey and Colin Shields return after missing February’s match against Riga because of injury, while there are recalls for Batch, Liam Kirk, Thomas Murdy and Craig Peacock.
Brendan Connolly is named in a GB squad for the first time.
Britain play Italy at Coventry’s Skydome on Friday, April 19 (7.30pm) and then go to the Planet Ice Arena, Milton Keynes where they take on Hungary on Sunday, April 21 (2pm).
GB are preparing to play in the top flight of World ice hockey for the first time since 1994 and all their fixtures are at the Steel Arena, Kosice.
They open against Germany before playing Canada, Denmark, USA, Finland, Russia, Slovakia and France.
Great Britain squad
Netminders: Ben Bowns (Cardiff Devils), Thomas Murdy (Cardiff Devils), Jackson Whistle (Sheffield Steelers).
Defensemen: Josh Batch (Cardiff Devils), Tim Billingsley (Nottingham Panthers), Dallas Ehrhardt (Manchester Storm), Mark Garside (Belfast Giants), Steve Lee (Nottingham Panthers), Evan Mosey (Cardiff Devils), Ben O’Connor (Sheffield Steelers), David Phillips (Sheffield Steelers), Mark Richardson (Cardiff Devils).
Forwards: Ollie Betteridge (Nottingham Panthers), Brendan Connolly (Glasgow Clan), Ben Davies (Guildford Flames), Robert Dowd (Sheffield Steelers), Robert Farmer (Nottingham Panthers), Luke Ferrara (Coventry Blaze), Mike Hammond (Manchester Storm), Liam Kirk (Peterborough Petes), Robert Lachowicz (Nottingham Panthers), Ben Lake (Coventry Blaze), Ciaran Long (Manchester Storm), Matthew Myers (Cardiff Devils), Craig Peacock (Glasgow Clan), Brett Perlini (Nottingham Panthers), Jonathan Phillips (Sheffield Steelers), Colin Shields (Belfast Giants).
Schedule for GB at the 2019 World Championship in Slovakia:
Russell’s team play in the top flight Group A (face-off times local time).
Saturday, May 11: Germany v Great Britain 4.15pm
Sunday, May 12: Great Britain v Canada 8.15pm
Tuesday, May 14: Great Britain v Denmark 4.15pm
Wednesday, May 15: USA v Great Britain 4.15pm
Friday, May 17: Finland v Great Britain 8.15pm
Saturday, May 18: Great Britain v Slovakia 8.15pm
Monday, May 20: France v Great Britain 4.15pm
Captain Jake Morissette and his Devils team travel to play Sheffield Steelers in Elite League on Saturday before taking on Glasgow Clan at the Viola Arena in Cardiff Bay on Sunday.
Devils tickets: CLICK HERE TO BOOK ONLINE or CALL 0800 0842 666 to book
Remaining 7 Elite League fixtures
Three home, four away
Saturday 16 v Sheffield Steelers (away, 7pm)
Sunday 17 v Glasgow Clan (home, 6pm)
Wednesday 20 v Glasgow Clan (away, 7.30pm)
Saturday 23 v Manchester Storm (home, 7pm)
Sunday 24 v Dundee Stars (away, 5pm)
Saturday 30 v MK Lightning (home, 7pm)
Sunday 31 v Coventry Blaze (away, 5.15pm)
7 fixtures left, six home, three away
Friday 15 v Coventry Blaze (home, 7pm)
Saturday 16 v Coventry Blaze (home, 7pm)
Friday 22 v Manchester Storm (away, 7pm)
Sunday 24 v Sheffield Steelers (home, 4pm)
Wednesday 27 v Coventry Blaze (away, 7.30pm)
Friday 29 v Fife Flyers (home, 7pm)
Saturday 30 v Dundee Stars (home, 7pm)